Conflicting advice about CO2 freeze treatment(13 posts)
Hi. I posted last week about my confusion regarding the effectiveness of thermal heat treatment vs. chemical, as well as whether chemical treatments are harmful to babies. Different PCOs here in LA gave me different answers. I was hoping to get some direction here on the forums, but so far no one has responded to the post.
In any case, in the meantime, I had an inspector come out from Terminex, and he gave me a relatively low quote of $400 to treat just the two bdrms in our apt and our living room. Their treatment involves vaccuming, applying their CO2 freeze treatment they call RapidFreeze, and a chemical treatment. For the latter, they claim they have a "green" solution that is non-toxic, and I'm awaiting word on the ingredients.
I'm wondering what people have heard about the freeze treatment. Theoretically, it could be a better idea than thermal heat, since it has the potential for causing less damage, and it costs way less. However, if that was really the case, then why doesn't everyone else offer it?
As with thermal treatments, I received conflicting reports about this. The guy I spoke to from Isotech claimed that the freeze treatment kills adults but not their eggs.
However, the inspector from Terminex told me that "their scientists" feel that the treatment does kill the eggs, and that they vacuum really well in any case, so that should take care of the eggs.
In the meantime, I discovered the EPA-funded report, "What’s Working for Bed Bug Control in Multifamily Housing" from last year, which evaluated different treatment methods. It said the following about the freeze method (p. 15): "Those who have tried the [CO2] application marketed specifically for bed bugs also report that the solid carbon dioxide comes out at such a high rate that it often blows the bed bugs away rather than killing them."
Of the companies I spoke to, the other one that offered the freeze method was Orkin, although we didn't get into the details because they seemed intent on first collecting my money.
So, any reports on the freeze treatment?
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As for your question, you may be interested in threads tagged "Cryonite" (one brand of the rapid-freeze technology). I gathered from some of these reports that the treatment can take a number of visits (four or five have been mentioned, I believe). As with other methods, the technicians experience and skill may affect this to some degree but it's basically a contact killer (hence the back-up chemical treatment). It can work, but it's not a miracle (or one-shot) cure.
Thanks for your response. I have to say, I'm at a bit of a loss at his point as to what the best course of action would be. I see that the cryonite method has gotten mixed reviews, as has Terminex itself. (I thought it might have been too good to be true when I saw how low their estimate was!)
As I mentioned in my first post about heat treatments, our major concern is that we have an 8 month-old and our pediatrician feels strongly that no chemical treatments should be used.
One PCO called Borite does use a chemical treatment, but they said they would apply it in places where the baby wouldn't go (although we aren't sure that that's really possible ).
The other thing that was initially encouraging about Terminex is that they claimed to have a non-toxic "green" treatment, although they have yet to pass on the actual ingredients to me.
I got a quote from Isotech for heat treatment but it was $16-1700, which seems extremely steep for a two-bedroom apt! The other issue, which I posted about, was that I was receiving mixed advice about it. Borite said that they haven't found the treatment to be effective and that it often damaged things. Another company also said they've heard about damage from that treatment.
Isotech, meanwhile, says that it's very effective and gets around much of the inconvenience of bagging clothes, etc. As far as it damaging things, that's why they have me sign a waiver. (Great!) But, they haven't heard a report of this happening in a while, their rep claimed.
Meanwhile, we're trying to vacuum where we can. We found a bunch of BBs hanging out in our bedframe last night, and I sucked them up, along with some others along the baseboard behind our bed. As I just mentioned in another post, I discovered our baby's car seat was infested, which is its own nightmare. But we're clearly fighting a losing battle on our own. Just last night, after I had sucked up all those bed bugs in our bedroom, I wasn't able to sleep half the night, as I keep thinking I felt bugs crawling on my face or neck. It turns out that I was correct a few of those times and squashed or flicked them off me.
Does Borite do heat treatment?
Speaking generally, it is common for pest control firms to put down methods they don't use. It's quite a cut-throat industry. Some of the criticism you encounter may be legit, but it may be hard to detect the BS.
Heat treatment can be effective if done properly. It may damage items. Some here will be able to give you their experiences.
From what I recall, the Cryonite threads I recall do not say it is ineffective, they simply comment on needing repeated treatments. (Initially, I think some people may have been led to think it was a quick fix.)
I would personally prefer heat to Cryonite, but you want to use an experienced firm with a good track record. I think some people here have used Isotech but you'd have to click the tag above or search to see their feedback (I have not checked).
I expect you'll get more and possibly quite different feedback in the morning, so hold tight.
Go with the heat, especially with your concerns about chemicals and your little one.
Yeah, heat is one of those total kills treatments. As long as you don't have a special situation like an apt that's crammed w/ stuff you should be good.
There are some special issues that you should look into since you are in an apt, though. How do they make sure the wall void area on the adjoining walls is heated enough? Also, it would be a shame to spend all that money to get treated and then get reinfested from a neighboring apt (possibly the most common way people have gotten their infestation). So you are going to need to find out about caulking any potential entry points really well, and possibly putting dust behind the wall that adjoins, too. Hopefully I'm not repeating anyone, but it's a big issue.
Hopefully this helps. Cryonite will kill all the bugs it impinges on. Unfortunately as we all know bed bugs spend most of their time in cracks and crevices. Getting all the eggs and insects using cryonite is virtually impossible so you will need a chemical program to supplement it. Even if their is something as thin as a sheet of paper between the insects and the cryonite they will survive. This is actually in the instruction book on cryonite which can be found on the web. Heat if done properly and if the preparation is done properly will not damage items. It will kill all stages of insects from eggs to adults in one treatment. Major drawback to heat is cost but if you want to go from infested to not infested in one day heat is it. Chemicals if done properly work well also. Plan on three treatments as recommended by leading authorities, prepare properly, make sure there are a combination of aerosol, dusts, liquid residual and non residual insecticides used and no(in my opinion based on my experience in the field) growth regulators. Also vacuuming does not work well on eggs as they are glued in place. Scraping them off when you can find them helps. Also I think a very important thing to do is determine that those around you are not infested and also that you have not infested your vehicle, place of work and those working in your home are not carriers. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback.
I see that heat is the recommended non-chemical treatment.
BarelyLiving, you mentioned the possibility of getting re-infested from neighboring apts. I believe we've been infested for three months now (although I didn't have a definite diagnosis until recently), and the manager told me that no one else has mentioned an infestation problem to him this entire time. I did mention that it might be a good idea to at least inspect the four adjacent apts (two sharing walls, one up, and one down), but I'm not sure they're going to listen. The owner was reportedly furious when he found out, because I didn't take care of it right away. Of course, I wasn't sure I had the problem at first, and I didn't learn about the possibility of infesting neighbors until recently. But I might be able to convince them to do the inspection, considering that the manager himself lives directly below me, and the owner's daughter shares our bedroom wall!
Related to this, the person at the call center at one of the other PCOs said they don't recommend heat treatment because it can cause the bugs to flee via cracks into an adjacent apt. Is this really a concern, that the actual treatment can cause infestation of adjacent units?
Also, what have people reported in terms of damage caused by thermal treatment?
Meanwhile, Terminex sent me the ingredients of their non-toxic chemical treatment. I'll post about that in a separate thread.
Lastly, is it always so damn expensive for just a 2-bdrm apt? Again, Isotech quoted me $1600-1700.
I would recommend clicking the "thermal" and "heat" tags at the top of this thread, and reading more stories of peoples' experiences with heat. Buggyinsocal was one Bedbugger who had a positive experience.
Keep in mind there are several heat technologies (ThermaPure and Temp-Air are two big ones) and that they work differently, so try and find out which one your potential PCO uses (the website usually says) and compare apples with apples.
I would also be wary of what one PCO who does or does not offer a certain treatment modality says about that treatment modality -- if a firm does not do heat, and disses heat, they may simply be trying to sell you a service. That's why I asked whether Borite does heat. The opposite is true too, of course.
Thanks. I'll take another look.
My understanding is that Borite used to do heat treatments but doesn't very often anymore. They apparently can if requested, however (which, at least, is what the operator told me).
The reason they give why they don't do it very often is that they hadn't found it to be effective. Not sure which approach they used.
There are sites that list items that can be damaged by heat. Mine does but I dont think I am allowed to list it. As far as effectiveness dont listen to me, listen to the likes of Dr. Mike Potter from A&M University, or Dr. Stephan Kells; University of Wisconsin or Dr Wang or Dr Dini Miller. These are the leading experts on bed bug control. They work for well regarded Universities and are leaders in their field and experts on bed bugs. They will teach you based on research, both lab and real world, about the effectiveness of Cryonite, Heat, Chemicals(and which ones) etc. I dont offer Cryonite. For a lease of $200 per month I could. It would be a lot cheaper than the 200k I have invested in heating equipment. As far as spread real world results as well as lab studies do not indicate that heat spreads bed bugs if done properly. Whatever you do make sure you research it well and get a warranty.
jeffklein - 2 hours ago »
There are sites that list items that can be damaged by heat. Mine does but I dont think I am allowed to list it.
No, but you do have your URL linked from your name on every post, so people can click that. And it's okay to mention that.
Cryonite has ZERO penetration and must come in DIRECT contact with the bug or egg. If it does that then it will 100% kill them.
If you put a single sheet of paper over top of a bed bug and hit the top of the paper with Cryonite the bed bug will survive.
At least with steam it penetrates.
Cryonite is great for delicate items, electronics, or other things that could be damaged by steam.
It is a tool in the toolbox, but not an overall solution.
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